Botswana – Match Report vs. Comoros (07/07/2022)

Botswana beat Comoros with a solitary goal from Baokeditswe Talane in the 40th minute of the first half in the second round of the COSAFA Cup group stage. Mogomotsi Mpote, the visiting team’s coach, set out to dominate the game through possession, creating short and long associations that allowed them to give their attack variability. They initially sought to lure the Comoros midfield block and then exploit the back of the Comoros defensive line. They had some success and could have scored more, but the opposing keeper didn’t allow it. On the other hand, Comoros kept their defensive lines low from the start of the game and were looking for attacking transitions. However, the fact that the ball carrier never had any help meant that the ball was quickly recovered by the Botswana national team, which rebounded very well defensively.

Rating:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Kitso Mangolo

  • Nationality: Motswana
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 06/01/1999
  • Club: Jwaneng Galaxy FC
  • Career: Jwaneng Galaxy FC
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Starting on the left side of the defence, Kitso Mangolo showed the physical ability to do the whole corridor, both when the team was organizing offensively and when it was time to move defensively. He was a well of speed and strength, and he showed it in the duels he played – he imposed himself through physicality and not good defensive positioning.

Offensively, Mangolo made use of his primary weapon several times: the cross. He can easily cross from any part of the field and did it with precision and strength in the proper proportions. He exploited, above all, the second post and could find colleagues on edge easily. At the base of the play, demonstrating a good relationship with the ball, he could link up and come out to play, although he was not very intervening. Reaching the last third, he rarely stepped on the interior ground, prioritizing the width he offered the team, which benefited him to look for the cross. He didn’t risk dribbling but showed technical quality in his actions.

Defensively, as I mentioned before, he imposed himself through speed and physical strength, which points to his difficulties directing support and reading the game. He didn’t know how to do containment and was attracted by the ball several times, ending up beaten and having to run more meters. Transitioning was a delight, especially in the defensive recovery at high speed.

Inherent to his crossing ability, he showed quality in set pieces. He always knew how to find the colleague in better conditions to finish and always excelled by delivering to the colleague instead of looking for the finish. His balls, tense and precise, always carried danger.

Rating ā€“ A2

Kitso Mangolo showed virtues that can benefit him in the mid-term, although there are apparent gaps to correct, especially in the defensive moment. The transition to a team of another level in the African continent could open doors for him to Europe since he presents technical and physical qualities that could take him to the “Old Continent.”

Mothusi Cooper

  • Nationality: Motswana
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 06/01/1999
  • Club: Jwaneng Galaxy FC
  • Career: Jwaneng Galaxy FC
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Starting in the park’s centre alongside Lebogang Ditsele, Mothusi Cooper masterfully organized all of Botswana’s attacking moves. He sought to get down the ground to pick up the play, always giving the central defenders room to move forward, roamed around the back of the first line of pressure, and linked up with the attack with vertical passes and indirect associations. It was a delight to see him floating down the central corridor while trying to link all the elements of his team.

Scanning the game, organizing the positioning of his teammates, and guiding the ball to safety, Mothusi Cooper demonstrated the skills to be the team leader whenever the team was in the offensive organization. He left quality passes, both in precision and tension, and knew how to combine at the right moments to eliminate the pressure lines of the opponent and reach the last third in superiority. Most of the time, Mothusi knew how to have the supports well oriented, but he also received several times back for de opponent goal, which made his progression difficult, despite his fast spinning.

Cooper stood out from a defensive point of view, especially in transition: he reacted quickly to loss and showed a willingness to recover position defensively at high speed. Pressing high, Botswana National Team individually fit the opponent, and Cooper always fulfilled his role, sometimes managing to anticipate and recover the ball in the offensive midfield, eventually launching offensive transitions, or pausing the game and starting a new offensive organization.

Mothusi Cooper game’s against Seychelles

Rating – A1

The defensive availability allied to the high-level technical quality gives Mothusi Cooper an enormous naturalness in his actions. He is a complete player who deserves a higher level than the one he already occupies in Morocco’s top league. Cooper has the potential to initially rise to the second tier in Spain or France, to reach the top level in that country later.

Gape Thibedi

  • Nationality: Motswana
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 02/02/2000
  • Club: Orapa United FC
  • Career: Orapa United FC
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Starting from position 10, Gape Thibedi could show all his quality during the game. Uninhibited on the ball, Thibedi sought to create goalscoring opportunities and showed himself available without the ball. Less conspicuously, he was one of the best players on the pitch against Comoros.

Gape showed an ability to position himself behind the opposing midfielders. Not always with the supports in a good direction, the Botswana No.2 took his time and won his space by rolling over and attacking the opposition’s defensive line. However, the fact that he had poorly oriented support sometimes made him suffocated by the defensive reaction of the Comoros national team, which hindered his actions with the ball. Still, he left significant indications driving the ball and taking opponents out of the way, which points to his low centre of gravity’s benefit. Moreover, the primacy he left in key passes was a delight: he always sought to place the ball between elements of the defensive line, applying the correct accuracy and tension. His arrival to the area was not notorious. However, the fact that he put his colleagues in good finishing situations omitted that.

From a defensive point of view, Thibedi fulfilled what was asked of him by Mogomotsi Mpote: to mark the opposing defensive midfielder individually, chasing him in the Comoros outlet and preventing him from touching the ball. Because of his quickness, Gape could anticipate and often recover the ball. In addition, he strictly followed the activation of pressure triggers, which led his team to recover the ball several times in the side corridors or induce the opponent to look for the long game, making him uncomfortable.

The attacking midfielder of Botswana also showed good availability in the defensive transition: he was quick to react to a loss and made the opponent’s next move difficult. Moreover, he held up very well in one-on-one duels because he knew how to position his body to protect the ball and keep it playable.

Rating ā€“ A2

Gape Thibedi showed exciting details in his relationship with the ball and his willingness to be an efficient asset at the defensive moment. Within the African panorama, a rise to the North African, Egyptian, or South African leagues would be interesting for Gape to make the jump to Europe subsequently. On the Old Continent, a move to a peripheral club would interest the Botswana player. To reach such a level, he must continue to improve his ball skills.

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